Scalia says old argument defending anti-gay laws ‘effective’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, during a college lecture on Dec. 10, said he offered an “effective” argument for anti-gay laws in 2003.

Scalia dissented in the landmark 2003 case out of Texas that tore down laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sex in the United States. The justice says that moral objections to gay sex should be considered valid, like moral objections to bestiality and murder.

He was asked about that position during a lecture at Princeton University on Dec. 11. Scalia, 78, replied that his argument was “effective.”

The conservative justice also said, “It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd. If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

The response came just days after the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases on gay marriage – one a dispute over an anti-gay constitutional amendment in California and another raising constitutional questions about the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act.

Scalia, in his dissent in the landmark sodomy case in 2003, wrote that that the majority’s ruling “leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.”

Scalia is on a lecture tour to promote his newest book, “Reading Law.”